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Patients and their families usually are calm, but nurses should be aware that some of them can become angry. Pain or fear that threatens wellbeing, independence and mobility can cause frustration or stress which results in anger. The aftermath of a patient of an illness can trigger anger because the patient at the time cannot understand the emotions. Here are practical ways for nurses to deal with an angry patient or their families.

1.Check for signs of angerA patient does not just become angry at once and usually exhibits signs indicating that their emotional needs are starting to deteriorate. A nurse or doctor should look for changes in the body language including:

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  • Tightening of the jaw
  • Clenching of fists
  • Tense posture
  • Fidgeting
  • Rising voice
  • Increased demand for attention
  • Behavioral changes such as when a talkative person becomes quiet

A nurse should act soon after detecting warning signs to help a patient in venting feelings productively. Start by spending more time with the patient although the temptation might be getting rid of the person. Ignoring or rushing a patient will increase the anger and might even increase liability.

2.EmpathizeExtra attention might not cool down all the angry patients and the right action to determine the cause of anger. For example, a patients’ anger might be stemming from anxiety about upcoming procedures. A reassurance that the doctors will take his concerns seriously and an explanation about its importance in recovery will calm down the person: speaking to the appropriate person who can solve administrative issues such as waiting too long for a healthcare provider makes the patient notice that concern and stop getting angry.

3.Maintaining calmnessA professional thing when a patient gets angry and verbally abusive is to stay calm. Healthcare professionals should remain calm until the patient stops the verbal barrage. It is essential to keep quiet after confrontation by a patient who for instance is trying to avoid a procedure because justifying or defending an action will only worsen things. Identify the reasons behind the verbal outburst when by questioning the person respectfuly to determine fears. A patient in an irrational state will not listen or comprehend the explanation buy a nurse or a doctor. The right approaches to wait till the persons stop speaking and become ready to hear.

4.Communicate efficientlyCommunication is an essential aspect of nursing and medical profession. Patients or their families deserve to get honest information regarding care and treatment. You should use short, simple statements to respond to the concerns that are making them angry. It is simpler to sort out issues that are causing anger by communication. Patients appreciate when someone is available to address their requirements and responds conclusively. Providing information that the concerns will reach someone who has the responsibility to address them is also a way of communicating to the angry, and they are less upset when they know their complaints will reach the right person.

5.Avoid argumentsAvoiding an argument does not mean that it curtails on the right to voice an opinion. A professional way to state the points is to wait for an appropriate opportunity to prevent a back and forth exchange with a patient. Presenting explanations when the other side is listening will solve the issue quickly. A caregiver should truthful about everything without an attitude that everything should proceed in a certain manner without regard for others. Sometimes the patient or family wants involvement in decision making and on some occasions they could be right.

6.Apologize for inconveniencesIt is right to accept and apologize for things that might have gone wrong. An apology will reduce the tension and restore the faith in health care due to honesty in owning up to a mistake.

7.Set boundariesIt might be necessary to establish a boundary if the anger escalates to a point where the patient is making unreasonable demandsthreatens to assault or breaches security. At such moment, a nurse should stop engaging the patient and call security personnel. Angry people can use inappropriate language, but a nurse, a doctor or anyone in the healthcare field should maintain dignity by responding to inappropriate language.